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Health Benefits Of Lutein

Health Benefits Of Lutein

Lutein is commonly known a popular supplement for eye health, but it is actually a pigment that is found in many foods that we consume on a regular basis. Continue reading if you want to learn more about the health benefits of lutein!

What Is Lutein?

Lutein is a xanthophyll and a type of carotenoid that has antioxidant properties. Carotenoids are yellow, orange and red pigments that are found in plants, and is responsible for the colour of some fruits and vegetables such as pumpkins, tomatoes and carrots. Lutein may be considered an essential nutrient as our bodies do not produce it, and we have to get it from the foods that we eat or through supplements. 

What Are The Benefits Of Lutein?

Lutein is an antioxidant - antioxidants scavenge the body for free radicals and reduce oxidative damage, which is the cause of many diseases and cancers. Antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties, and may therefore be beneficial in reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases. 

Lutein is particularly beneficial for eye health - as an antioxidant, lutein can prevent free radical and oxidative damage to the retina. In our bodies, lutein is concentrated in the back of the eyes, and is referred to as “macular pigments”. Lutein is considered an important nutrient to delay the onset of eye related diseases such as cataracts, and low lutein levels in the eyes is are associated with incidences of age-related macular degeneration. Consuming a diet high in lutein or taking a supplement has been proven to protect against the development of age related macular degeneration. 

Lutein has been found to provide heart protective effects in patients with coronary heart disease due to its anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that supplementing lutein reduced LDL cholesterol levels and total cholesterol levels, which can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Lutein has also been found to be beneficial for brain health, and is associated with improved cognitive performance, for instance with regards to memory. One study found that higher serum levels of lutein may play a role in preventing age related cognitive decline. 

Dietary Sources Of Lutein

Lutein is found in most fruits and vegetables, particularly dark, leafy green vegetables and yellow-pigmented foods, including spinach, kale, bell peppers, carrots and broccoli. Egg yolks and corn are particularly rich in lutein. The best way to up your intake of lutein is therefore to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, and make sure you include lots of green, red, orange and yellow plants in your diet! Lutein is fat soluble, which means it is better absorbed when consumed alongside a fat.

You can also take lutein in the form of a supplement - so if you think you may need more lutein, why not try MOBU Lutein 50mg & Vitamin B2? Our lutein is derived from marigold flowers!

The Bottom Line…

Lutein is the pigment that is responsible for the yellow, orange and red colour of fruits and vegetables. It is particularly beneficial for eye health and in preventing eye related diseases, but it can also be beneficial for heart health and cognitive function. Most fruits and vegetables contain lutein, so it is important to follow a varied and balanced diet in order to get sufficient amounts of lutein, as our bodies do not produce it.

What is your favourite lutein-rich food? Let us know in the comments below!
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